The best change is the one that comes from within you. They say happiness is something you decide ahead of time. We've seen a number of women coming into the studio for portraits to celebrate themselves. The milestone isn't a particular life event, but the realization of themselves through a series of life events, new circumstances and a fresh outlook.
When they redefine themselves, they want portraits that reflect who they are now. One client used to be a socialite and is now more Bohemian. Another client is a cancer survivor who wanted to highlight her newfound strength. Mostly they are individuals who realize there is no better time than the present to live and love yourself.
We started referring to our photography sessions with these clients as "just because" as in "just because you're beautiful." But it is so much more than just because. It is because people should embrace and celebrate themselves for who they have become, especially when they have made an effort to grow and redefine themselves. It's only natural to celebrate others that we sometimes forget to praise ourselves in a self-empowering way. We're going to start calling these sessions something new: "Be Your Best Self."
Making Changes at the Studio:
Be Your Best Self. As a businesswoman, I can relate to this kind of realization. I opened my studio several years ago and enjoy working with amazing clients. That hasn't changed, but my work has evolved over the years. I always stretch myself by taking time off to attend photography conferences, such as the Texas School and SYNC, and learn what peers are doing that is new and different with techniques and portrait trends.
When it comes down to it, sometimes you have to overhaul some things in a photography studio, just like with self-improvement. As the studio grew and we added sets and props, our controlled chaos finally blossomed into a new environment. Then, I stopped procrastinating and brought in a contractor to revamp the interior. Now, each set is organized and distinct. I acquired an extensive collection of backdrops and had them installed with a pulley system.
I also added new products, such as Xtreme sessions, which are more involved and are edited for a intensified look with specialty graphics. We have Xtreme Sports and Xtreme Elegance. Xtreme Sports are for athletes in uniform and add an amazing array of graphic design techniques. Xtreme Elegance features our parachute dress that flows out from the subject and frames her.
Just as I changed my studio, I wanted to change how we communicated from it. We set up a new website and blog, and coordinated our social media outreach. We remain on Facebook and Instagram and you can now also find fresh images on Pinterest and Twitter. We've seen our clients' needs change and we've changed too.
Changing Family Dynamics:
They grow up so fast! Our families are our bedrocks and yet the only constant is change, even in our families. One recent Christmas I was invited to a home for a family portrait session on December 23 and I walked into a festive and busy scene. They were on the last steps of prepping a holiday dinner for 15 and the table was set. Children were running around and grandparents were helping corral everyone. Once assembled, there was a large crowd crammed into the shot. The great gift was that the photos came out beautifully.
In about an hour's time, I had joined this family and then left with the images on my camera to work up into an album. In January, the client called to say the photos were so bittersweet because her elderly father had just passed away. The family had thought they had more time, but as we know our tomorrows are never promised. She was so thankful they had taken that moment in time to memorialize their last holiday together. More recently, I photographed a young family and the children were absolutely precious. The big sister was instructing the little brother how to pose and smile. About a week later, the mother was in a car accident and thankfully wasn't hurt. After the accident, she came to the studio for her scheduled sales session and while viewing the beautiful images of her children, she teared up and related how grateful she was to have be here today with her family.